Mark Twain Quotes

I went to Virginia City this past summer. Virginia City is an Old West mining town about 45 minutes from Lake Tahoe. Although I strongly recommend you spend a week in Tahoe this summer, Virginia City is kind of lame.

It is, however, the birthplace of Mark Twain; that is, he changed his name from Samuel Clemens to Mark Twain during his time in Virginia City.

Today just happens to be Mark Twain’s birthday. He’s dead now and won’t be celebrating it. But we can by sharing our favorite Mark Twain quotes. You may even wish to take a look at some Mark Twain short stories while you’re celebrating.

I opted to not pay the $10 to enter the Mark Twain museum. I hate museums. And I have five kids, all of whom would have been scampering about town, dodging cars, as I sniffed manuscripts and old newspaper clippings.

Hey, here’s an assignment using quotes as inspiration for writing.

It’s a short writing assignment using literary quotations or thematic quotations. And if you’re looking for simple common core writing assignments, check these out.

The Top Ten Mark Twain Quotes I Could Find on the Internet

I have a confession. I hate adjectives and adverbs. I understand they’re a necessary evil, but that doesn’t mean I have to like them. Mark Twain feels the same about my least favorite adverb ‘very’, which makes me damn happy!

“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”

I’m not a big fan of politicians, especially the ones who pander to the public by telling everyone how they’re going to ‘fix’ schools with their latest money-wasting, lack-of-accountability program.

“Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

And don’t get me started on the entitlement mentality of some students. Just substitute the word ‘teacher’ for ‘world’ and ‘grade’ for ‘living’ in the following quote the next time a student asks for a 372-point extra credit assignment to make up for the 23 assignments he or she didn’t turn in during the previous 8 weeks.

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”

I personally think God created football so Americans would learn geography. Mark and I will just have to agree to disagree on this one.

“God created war so that Americans would learn geography.”

I think this post needs an image. But we’re gonna stay focused with a Mark Twain quote image.

This means avoid the teacher’s lounge.

The masters of literature are masters of words. A master of words chooses the right word almost always.

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

My English teacher shared this quote with me back in the day. I thought he was an idiot. I can’t believe how much he’s learned since then.

“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

I think it’s time for another Mark Twain quote image.

Twain Quote

Sorry Mark, I have another confession: I like Jane Austen.

“I haven’t any right to criticize books, and I don’t do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read Pride and Prejudice I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”

Don’t be angry at me if I left out your favorite Mark Twain quote. I’ve got more here.

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”



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